Paramedics are recognised the world over for their exceptional work in the prehospital and out-of-hospital environment through ambulance services and emergency response organisations. However, there is a growing number of paramedics impacting the humanitarian health care stage at an international level.
Pandemic aside, humanitarian emergencies are currently occurring in numerous locations around the world and they are defined by elements that cause a critical threat to the health and safety, or security and wellbeing of a community over a wide geographical area. Usually, these crises are a result of armed conflict or an environmental incident and these issues reduce the capacity of individuals and community groups to appropriately respond and recover from the incident. Sadly, these crises are far more likely to occur in poorer communities where poverty and lack of resources impact the response which further exacerbates local issues and places large populations in a more vulnerable position.
Health Care in Humanitarian Crisis
By nature, a humanitarian crisis will impact and limit any access for people to access even basic primary health care. Clinics, hospitals, and health services are often impacted through reduced procurement, infrastructure, and human resources. Being health care specialists in prehospital care, paramedics are ideally suited to fill some of the voids in health care access that is often found in these situations. Dedicated mobile clinical teams that include paramedics are staffing clinics and vaccination hubs around the globe in an effort to reduce the health care gap caused by humanitarian crises. That said, operating within a humanitarian operation requires specialised training for paramedics, but the transition is relatively seamless for most who decide to participate in these operations due to the adaptability required to operate within paramedicine. Treatments are often focused less focused on a referral pathway, and more focused on extended care, supported self-care, and health education and prevention programs.
Whilst most paramedics will look for paramedic specific jobs, thinking laterally about your skillset may assist. Paramedics fill a wide variety of health care-related jobs such as:
- Emergency Response Team member
- Emergency Response Manager
- Medical Coordinator
- Community Health Worker
- Health Programme Manager
- Medical Logistician
A growing number of organisations are now seeking paramedics to support their health care work within the humanitarian sphere and momentum is building. The following organisations are actively seeking paramedics to join their teams so if you have a desire to assist on an international level and you want to gain significant experience check out the links below.
Most paramedics are on the job because they want to help people and have been trained for an unpredictable environment, but the humanitarian sector is a vastly different industry. Before signing up to a role a paramedic must be transparent about why they have applied because being honest about your intentions and expectations will undoubtedly help prepare for the potentially extreme demands that occur working within a humanitarian crisis.
Links to external sites
This article contains links to other websites. These links have been included with the intention of increasing the information available to you. If you use these links, you may leave this website. The Shift Extension has no control over linked websites, and as a result:
e make no guarantees in relation to the security of linked websites and do not accept liability in relation to security issues arising should you choose to visit those websites;
e do not accept responsibility or liability for any loss, damage, cost or expense you might incur if you rely on information which appears on linked websites;
are not responsible for the views, opinions, standards or information expressed on linked websites. The provision of a link does not imply that The Shift Extension endorses those websites or the people or companies who own them, and vice versa.